Masdar and Miral unveil world’s largest rooftop solar plant
Miral, the Abu Dhabi-based leisure and entertainment developer, has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) to develop the largest rooftop solar PV project at its Warner Bros theme park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
In a statement, Miral says that the project is set to become operational in Q4 2021 and will have approximately 16,000 solar modules across the park's 36,000sqm rooftop. Once complete, it will become the largest solar powered theme park in the GCC, producing nearly 40 percent of its annual energy demand.
As per the terms of the agreement, Masdar will provide a full turnkey solution for the seven-megawatt peak (MWp) project, including the design, procurement and construction of the plant, as well the operations and maintenance.
"We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with Miral to develop Abu Dhabi’s largest rooftop solar project," said Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi. "As per the World Green Building Council data, building-related emissions contribute almost 55 per cent of global electricity demand and optimising energy efficiency in the built environment is critical to achieving the UAE's clean energy goals.
"We are proud to be supporting Abu Dhabi’s 2030 energy efficiency strategy to reduce overall electricity consumption by 22 per cent and we look forward to leveraging our energy services experience to support Miral’s efforts of implementing energy efficient solutions across its destinations and attractions," he adds.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Masdar on this landmark agreement. Sustainability is high on our agenda and with Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi recognised as the world’s largest indoor theme park, it is the ideal location for a project of this scale,” said Miral CEO Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi.
"This collaboration is a testament to our commitment of harnessing the most efficient, innovative and sustainable systems across our developments on Yas Island, further positioning it as a top global destination for entertainment, leisure and business," he said.
According to IRENA and Masdar’s Remap 2030 report, renewable energy is now economically attractive in the UAE, with a 10 percent share of renewable energy in the total energy mix capable of generating annual savings of £1.45 billion by 2030, based on avoidance of fossil fuel consumption.
A number of renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV, wind power and waste-to-energy, are already economic in the UAE, the report says, with solar PV potentially competitive with gas prices as low as £3.44/MBtu.
“There is a clear financial rationale for accelerated and greater deployment, surpassing the UAE’s existing targets in the power sector. A 25 percent share of renewables in the power generation by 2030 could be cheaper to achieve than the current targets,” the report states.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.